A Night To Kill Part 2
by "Splatter" Joe Solmo
“I haven’t felt this great in years,” he said as he popped an old videotape into the TV/VCR combo that rested on his kitchen counter. It was his favorite possession. A rare bootleg of Nacho Cerda’s 1994 short film Aftermath. In a moment of whimsy when he was younger, he added the sound of Mr. Bean saying hello over the scene of the man fucking the corpse with a knife. The actor’s eyes to him reminded him of Bean. He laughed at the thought.
After a breakfast of french toast and sausage, he hopped into the shower to get ready for the day. After cleaning himself he shaved with an electric razor. He went over each part of his face several times, since the mirror in the bathroom was missing. As he put down the razor he looked down at the scars on his knuckles in remembrance.
It was time to head off to the store and get some supplies for later. It felt like Christmas felt when he was a child. Not when his mother ruined it for him, but before that, when the world still hid behind that illusion of innocence. He could hear Bing Crosby singing in his head and he began to whistle the tune.
The cashier at the hardware store, Alicia, gave him funny looks when he was whistling in line, but he didn’t care. It may be June now, but there was no rule about when someone could whistle Christmas Songs. He gave her a quick look over as a possibility for tonight, but he noticed she had a pack of cigarettes in her apron. He loathed cigarettes. His mother used to smoke two packs a day. She always thought she would die of cancer, boy was she surprised.
He tossed his purchases in the trunk and headed further into the city. There was a section he liked to “patrol.” Most of the time during the day it was filled with warehouse workers and deliveries, so new faces weren’t remarkable. Anonymity was his friend. Once the warehouses closed for the day, or the shift changed to a smaller crew he would make his move. There, among the large buildings and dark shadows he could find his next playmate.
He cruised at ten mph, the posted limit in the industrial park, it was the perfect speed for looking around, as long as the traffic was light. An hour before lunch meant less traffic for him to contend with.
A small manufacturing plant, located near the back of the park, held only seven cars in its twenty spot parking lot. He wondered if they had a night shift as he pulled into the parking lot.
A moment later found him entering the building. There sitting behind a counter was a woman with blonde hair up in a bun. A pencil held it in place. She wore black rimmed glasses and a nice button down shirt that was a pastel blue. She smiled at him as he entered. “Welcome to ConsEast. How can I help you?” she asked.
“I was wondering if I could fill out an application for a warehouse position,” he said with a smile. “Do you have a night shift? I prefer to work nights.”
“We do,” the woman said and stood. Robert watched her as she took a few steps to reach the gray file cabinet that rested upon the west wall. His eyes grazed her curves as she bent over to open the bottom drawer. “It will be just a second,” she said. He barely heard her, his eyes were focused on the slender legs that peeked out under the knee length skirt. His heart picked up its pace, as a flash her blonde bun falling about her face mixed with blood. A crimson mask sliding down over her features.
“Sir?” he heard her say, and shook his head. She was standing just on the other side of the counter. He never saw her come back. She held a clipboard with an application on it. A pen was under the clip.
“I’m sorry, I’m just getting over a cold,” he said in response. He reached out and took the clipboard from her, making eye contact to try to make her feel at ease. “I can fill this out here?” he asked pointing to a group of three waiting chairs near the large window.
“Sure thing, honey. I will be here,” she said. She called him honey! He felt his cheeks get tight as the smile crept up his face. With a quick burst of nervous energy he spun and headed for the chairs. He nearly dropped the clipboard as he plopped down in it. He looked back at the blonde woman, she was watching him, smiling. His decision was made for him.
Robert filled out the information with the alias he liked to go by in such situations. Charles Whitman. It had been a long time since that name made the paper, it was kind of a sick joke. He finished filling out the application and looked up at the blonde woman. She was on the phone explaining the office hours.
“No sir, the office closes at six pm. If you need to come here after that you have to go to the warehouse entrance around the side. You can’t miss it, it’s next to the bay doors. Yes I am sure we close at six. I am the one that locks it up. I am the last to leave the office,” she explained to the person on the phone.
Robert placed the clipboard on the counter. The woman glanced up at him and give him a quick dismissal smile, before returning her glance to her computer screen. His earlier euphoria plummeted when he realized she didn’t really like him. She was being phony.
He turned and walked out the front door without saying another word. He climbed inside his Toyota and backed out of the parking lot. With a glance at his watch, he knew he had a while to wait. It was just about lunchtime, so he headed a few warehouse’s down and awaited the noon time Roach Coach that brought the warehouse workers their noontime meal.
At 5:30 he parked his car in the next warehouse parking lot, and watched the ConsEast building. After closing the hood, he slipped on the leather gloves he carried in the glove box. It was about thirty feet from his car to what he assumed was the blonde woman’s car. It was the only one left in the office parking lot.
The half hour went by so slow. It felt like an eternity before he saw the lights go out in that office. He watched the building birth the blond woman, her slender frame wrapped in a long overcoat. There was just a hint of the calves he was infatuated with peeking out under. He listened to the sound of the clopping of her heels on the pavement.
He waited until she almost reached her car before he exited his Toyota. “Excuse me,” he called out. “I am sorry, but can you help me?” The woman nearly jumped at the sound of his voice. Good, he thought, she was unaware of him.
“Charles, right?” the blonde woman said as she looked over her shoulder towards the building.
“You remembered!” he said with an enthusiastic smile. “I hate to bother you, but I have been driving up and down this industrial park all day looking for a job, but the toll must have been too much on my car, it won’t start,” he said holding his hands out in a nonthreatening manner.
“I think I know what it could be. But I can’t turn the key and look under the hood at the same time. Could I bother you to help me?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t think so,” the woman said gripping her overcoat. He knew she was starting to feel uneasy.
“Look, I will hand you my keys, you turn the key, and I will be under the hood. If I was a weirdo or anything you could always drive off if its running or lock the doors, right? I just want to get home to my family,” he said.
“Well I guess that makes sense, let me put my bag in my car,” she said and opened her car door. He grew apprehensive at the thought of her just driving off, leaving him there. He already had himself convinced she was the one. He let out a sigh of relief when she closed the door and took a step towards him.
Robert smiled and held his keys out at arm’s length. She approached and took them. “Thank you,” he said and turned his back to her. He wanted to show he trusted her and there was no reason for her to be so guarded.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to me. If I get the job here I will bring you coffee every Monday morning,” he said with a chuckle as the approached his car. He stopped at the grill, and waited for her to walk towards the door. He wanted to grab her right there, but knew it was too soon.
He watched as she opened the door and sat down in his car. He imagined the smell of her perfume permeating the material of the seats. How long after this day would he be able to still smell her scent. The thought intrigued him.
He heard the hood latch release and he reached down and grabbed it. She knew how to open it, he thought about that, this wasn’t just a weak woman. He opened the hood and looked at the battery cable he had disconnected earlier.
“Ok give it a try,” he said to her, peeking around the hood. She turned the key but nothing happened.
“I am turning it,” she called out the window of his car. “Nothing is happening.”
“Okay, give me a second,” he called back. He took a moment to wiggle some wires and hoses, in case she could see between the hood and window. “Okay, try it now,” he said.
“Nothing,” she called out. “It might be your battery, I don’t even see any dome lights,” she said.
“Well that doesn’t make any sense, I just bought this battery a month ago,” he said. He watched the car rock a little as she exited the Toyota. It made him smile. He placed the wire back on the terminal.
“I remember my sister had a similar thing happen to her, but when they installed her battery they didn’t tighten it down.”
He heard her voice grow louder as she came around the front of his car. He was right about her perfume, he could smell it now. A sweet, fruity scent. He could spend the rest of his life smelling that smell.
“Here you go, look at this,” she said and wiggled the wire he had just put back.
“Huh, wonder how that happened?” he said taking a step back in mock disbelief.
“Who knows? It could be vibrations from these roads out here. They get so much traffic from the big trucks, but no one wants to repair the potholes,” she said. A second later she was laying on his engine, unconscious. He put the blackjack back into his pocket and looked around to make sure there was no witnesses. With the coast clear he scooped her up in his arms and walked around to the back seat of his car.
He placed her on the plastic he had there, so much like the night before. He closed the door then the hood. Then he climbed into the driver seat. It was less conspicuous with the doors closed. He reached down into the bag from the hardware store and pulled out some duct tape.
He wrapped her ankles first, he had a fear of being kicked while taping the rest of her up. He then did her hands, behind her back. A loop of tape around her mouth would keep her from screaming if she woke up, he thought. Once she was secured, he fired up the engine, and threw the car in reverse. Tonight would be a night to kill.
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